Josie and the Pussycats
Josie and the Pussycats return to town, and another familiar face returns.

On Riverdale Season 5 Episode 15, Josie comes home to Riverdale, along with her former bandmates. Meanwhile, Toni Topaz returns.

Josie & The Pussycats Josie McCoy

 

 

Yes, you read that right. Josie and the Pussycats have made their long-awaited return to Riverdale.

A staple in the first season of Riverdale, the Pussycats were soon (and disappointingly) sidelined in favour of the other characters in the seasons that followed, with Valerie and Melody being written out completely mid-season 2. 

So when it was revealed that the trio would be making a re-appearance, fans were excited but reasonably trepidatious. After all, their time on the show was fleeting and was not given even an ounce of the spotlight they deserved. However, my expectations were exceeded beyond belief and it seems like I’m not alone in that. 

I had anticipated a regular episode of Riverdale with the Pussycats merely guest starring and singing a song or two, instead, we got what felt like a back door pilot. It was the Pussycats world, and the residents of Riverdale were just living in it, in this hour of the show. 

Melody and Valerie were better developed in the first five minutes than they ever were when we first met them in season 1. And it’s about time! There’s always been so much potential for these characters, so much room to give them meaningful relationships that are more than just dating Archie for a fleeting moment, and storylines that are more than just performing at functions. 

So to finally see Melody and Valerie get all of those things, was long-awaited and exhilarating. And seeing them reunite with Josie and bring the band back together was so heartwarming. This was a friendship I loved and was so sad to see leave the show, and even though they weren’t on the best terms in the first half of the episode, I was so excited to see them come back together. 

It was also very satisfying to see the girls hash out old wounds, even when it felt more like a rightful call out to the showrunners for forgetting about them. These girls aren’t taking anything from anyone, which resulted in some great moments, like Josie calling Hiram, and I quote “a little bitch”. 

I could go on and on about their return but judging by the end of the episode, I might just get that chance. This brings me to my next point… 

Potential Spin-Off 

Josie and the Pussycats

There’s been buzz for months about a Pussycats spin-off, and with this episode being so well received, it seems to be the perfect opportunity for one. 

There’s a lot that was revealed to us in this episode about the girls’ lives during their time off-screen that would transfer well to a spin-off series. Melody is an author with a movie deal on the backburner, Valerie is an aspiring artist, and a political activist with a boyfriend who’s just recently popped the question. Meanwhile, Josie has been on a world tour, and at the end of the episode was approached by a man that claims her father’s death might have involved foul play. And to top it off, Sweet Pea has opted to leave Riverdale and follow her and her fellow Pussycats on tour. 

I want to see how these play out, I want to know if Melody eventually makes her book into a movie, what the story is behind Valerie’s relationship if Sweet Pea and Josie are going to give it another go. I want more show-stopping performances from this talented group, and I want to see them repair their friendships and get some real character development. 

There’s so much to be explored, and I hope they get the opportunity to do so. It’s about time these girls get the respect and spotlight they’ve always deserved. 

Toni 

Tabitha Tate, Alexandra Cabot and Toni Topaz

In another anticipated appearance, Toni Topaz has returned, and boy did she make her presence known. Not only did she accompany Tabitha and Alexandra Cabot in a performance of “Little Shop of Horrors” in her first scene back, but she also went into labour during Josie’s solo performance. 

She had stated earlier in the episode that she had hoped performing would induce labour, with no such luck. So when she announced she was having her baby, I audibly gasped in excitement. Naturally, Fangs eagerly hops up to help deliver the baby, but a surprising extra set of hands comes in the form of Cheryl. 

This was a fun little addition that I feel could lead to some bigger moments for the two. They haven’t exactly been on the best of terms this season, so seeing Cheryl so enthusiastically offer her assistance in delivering Toni’s baby, feels like a big step for the character. I also wonder how the baby’s arrival will affect Kevin and Fangs now, as they were originally planning to raise the baby together with Toni. However, with the recent demise of their relationship, that seems to be up in the air. 

No matter how it plays out, I’m very happy to see Toni back in town. She’s been such a big part of the season that her presence, or lack thereof, was felt and sorely missed. I’m excited to see her pick back up where she left off, with the school, with the lonely highway investigation, and of course, her newest venture of motherhood. 

What did you think of the episode? Were you excited to see the Pussycats again? Do you think there’s a spin-off in the future? Let us know in the comments or share with and follow us on Twitter!

Riverdale airs Wednesday nights at 8/7c on the CW!